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Mars Opportunity Rover Getting Closer to Victoria Crater

This image from the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor highlights the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's approach toward "Beagle Crater."
by Staff Writers
Pasadena (SPX) Jul 13, 2006
Opportunity is healthy. This week, Opportunity continued uplinking its new flight software load and driving toward "Victoria Crater." Opportunity completed three more drives toward the large crater on sols 869 (July 4, 2006), 870 and 871. As of Sol 870, Opportunity is approximately 115 meters (377 feet) from "Beagle Crater" and about 600 meters (just over one-third of a mile) from Victoria Crater.

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 867 (July 2, 2006): Opportunity took a panoramic camera tau, which is a measurement of opacity, and then a panoramic camera image of the target referred to as "Austin." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used for a sky and ground observation and to investigate the target "McKinney."

Sol 868: The panoramic camera aboard Opportunity was busy this sol, imaging targets McKinney, "Baxter Springs" and "Fort Gibson." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer looked at McKinney, the sky and ground, as well as the calibration target on the rover. The panoramic camera also took a tau before communicating with the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. In the morning, a miniature thermal emission spectrometer drift check was conducted to calibrate the instrument's elevation actuator (to remove any drift).

Sol 869: This sol saw Opportunity on the move again. The rover first took a tau with its panoramic camera, stowed its robotic arm and then drove. After the drive, the rover unstowed its arm and completed post-drive imaging with its panoramic and navigational cameras. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer examined the sky and ground.

Sol 870: Opportunity essentially repeated the previous sol's activities, completing a panoramic camera tau, robotic arm stow, drive, unstow, post-drive imaging and use of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to examine the sky and ground. A drift check was also conducted on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer's elevation actuator.

Sol 871: The morning of this sol involved using the rover's panoramic camera to do an intensive systematic ground survey. Opportunity also drove again this sol after taking a panoramic camera tau. After the drive was completed, the rover took images with its navigation camera and a tau with the panoramic camera.

The miniature thermal emission spectrometer examined the sky and ground. In the morning, the panoramic camera was used to quantify sky brightness in the west and, in the afternoon, another drift check was conducted on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer's elevation actuator.

Odometry total as of Sol 870 (July 5, 2006): 8,421.65 meters (5.23 miles).

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